October 22, 2007

Review: Battlestar Galactica: Season 3 Official Soundtrack

I just got a copy of the soundtrack for the third season of Battlestar Galactica. This is a bit different than what I usually write about, but these soundtracks are certainly worth pointing out. There's one for each season of the show, as well as the miniseries that was released in 2003. Battlestar Galactica, for those of you who aren't science fiction fans, is a show currently on the SciFi channel, and is a remake of a 1978 show by the same title. Rather than a continuation of the original, this is a re-imagining, starting the show over with a fresh look and feel, as well as more modern. Where some science fiction is enough to make your eyes roll, this one's down to earth, realistic and dark. It's easily one of the best shows on television today.

When the show's creators went forwards with this, they changed a lot of the conventional aspects of sci-fi TV - They rooted it in more realism, from set design, uniforms, situations and dialog, making it a very accurate show, at least militarily. One of the big things that was also a big change was the music.
A number of science fiction television shows and films have a very bombastic type of score - lots of brass, loud, dramatic and exciting. Just listen to the opening credits of Star Wars or the original Battlestar theme (which they actually brought back in Season 2 for one episode).
These soundtracks, like the rest of the show, is a bit of a reinvention. Like the show, the score here is darker and moodier. Furthermore, they branch out with their sound, utilizing a number of world influences from India to Ireland, giving this show a very unique sound.
The third season soundtrack is possibly the best of the three soundtracks. It compounds on a number of themes that have been introduced already in the series, and adds in some new ones. The album opens with a bang, with the first couple of songs. The music here is more dramatic, darker and richer in sound. The opening song, A Distant Sadness opens the season up with some wonderful vocals, and moves on to several other songs that are filled with an incredible energy that works perfectly with the opening of the season. Like the season, the best stuff was in the beginning, but there are some other fantastic cuts here along the way, such as The Dance, Under The Wing, Temple of Five and Heading the Call. The album ends with
the fantastic cover of Bob Dylan's song, All Along the Watchtower, vocals by the band BT4. It's a fantastic blend of the soundtrack's usual sound and rock and is a purely Battlestar Galactica feeling song.

A Distant Sadness (From 'Occupation') - Bear McCreary
Storming New Caprica (From 'Exodus, Part 2') - Bear McCreary
The Dance (From 'Unfinished Business') - Bear McCreary

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